It was another sparkling weekend–lots of sun, lots of activity. But unlike any other weekend, Grandma & Papa were here! This time, my parents made the big journey to see us, and we packed every minute with fun.
We took a trip to the shore. We usually try to avoid the hottest, sunniest part of the day, but we ended up at the beach at noon. HOT! The water felt wonderful. The waves were gentle and a beautiful glass green.
I love seeing my children with their grandparents. Grandma & Papa are so attentive to them, and the boys spend much of their time together giggling. And giggling some more! We’re already looking forward to the next visit.
I am not at all surprised that I began this blog just as summer turned to fall. The autumn season inspires me in so many ways. I love that as the outdoors grow cooler, the inside becomes warmer and cozier. I am reminded of all that people do to make our homes warm, comfortable places. We turn back toward the rooms of our houses as summer’s activies come to an end. In those rooms, we stir soup, bake bread, and wash up blankets to be draped over the arms of couches. All of that change makes me want to set goals and make changes on the inside of me, not just my home.
As I move into my third year of blogging, I am in a very different place geographically. Here, we don’t need the hot, hearty soup. We aren’t ready for cozy blankets. In fact, while our family up north is pulling out the woolens, I haven’t noticed any real change in the temperatures. Nonetheless, I do feel inspired. The hot weather holds steady, but the year still passes. We are moving into the time of year when we shed the old to make room for the new, and I want to carry that rhythm into my life and my blog.
I feel pleased that my blog has become a positive and pleasant habit, a part of my routine that I certainly miss when life pulls me away from the computer (as it should). Blogging has pushed me to keep my eyes open for beautiful moments and quiet lessons in my daily life. And it has become more fun and rewarding as I’ve watched my readership grow.
Thank you! I hope you’ll stick around.
On Saturday, my six-year-old and I went for a big walk with Charlotte in her wrap. The day was gorgeous but really hot. Mid-90s, high humidity. My silly boy insisted upon wearing long jeans and a long sleeved navy blue shirt along with his superhero cape (a favorite Christmas gift made by Aunt Kristy). While I strongly recommended a cooler ensemble, the boy insisted that that this was his super suit. Mama lost.
We watched the sailboats on the lake (see Sunday’s post). We watched some really crazy squirrels run up and down the trees and chase each other through curtains of Spanish moss. We marveled at the oak trees that don’t look at all like oak trees and produce tiny acorns.
We found the shells of fresh water clams.
After walking a bit, I sat in the shade while Charlotte napped and her busy brother chased butterflies (He caught one!) and practiced his superhero moves. He threw himself into the air and let himself fall and tumble. While I cringed at the inevitable impact, he never hesitated. A few minutes of watching the jump-crash-roll left me finally able to relax and enjoy how unencumbered he was in those moments. Lately, I’ve been feeling like I am constantly scolding and reminding. Don’t jump on the couch. Don’t leave your socks in the livingroom. Don’t blow bubbles in your milk. Don’t be so rough. Don’t be so loud. What a drag. During our forty-five minute outing, I remembered why raising this little boy is so much fun. He doesn’t worry that people raise their eyebrows at the cape. He doesn’t mind that winter clothes leave him with fat drips of sweat coursing down his sweet cheeks. In fact, as we strolled home, he proudly said, “I caught a sweat. That’s good!” He is not at all concerned that he’ll have bruises on his elbows and knees from all those carefree collisions with the ground. He doesn’t think about the bug bites that will certainly come from flopping in the long grass and staying there looking up at the clouds. I soaked in his joy, his freedom, his boyhood. I made a promise to say “no” when it matters, and whenever possible, let him be.
An exercise in gratitude…
(In the spirit was SouleMama’s “This Moment” and The Magic Onion’s “Silent Saturday.”)
I love a new notebook. Have I mentioned this before? I get really excited–unreasonably excited–by a fresh, clean, untouched notebook. I’ve felt this way for, well, forever. I know I’m not alone in my passion for empty pages. I guess I open a new notebook with the expectation that I will craft the greatest novel of all time or finally perfect the Shakespearean sonnet rhyme-scheme. Or at the very least, I’ll make an awesome to-do list that actually gets done. Imagine.
This blue beauty actually belongs to my three-year-old son, and I am proud to say that he is pretty excited about it. We’ve been having writing time after lunch. He makes big, happy swirls on his pages while I’m working on some brainstorming in my hot pink composition book. (Does it get any better than a composition book? Truly?) Some time this summer, I realized something exciting and scary: the itch to write has returned. Now, don’t let me lead you to believe that I stopped enjoying the written work. No, no. But to be honest, seven years later, I am still recovering from MFA burn-out. The tremendous pressure of the whole MFA atmosphere left me to question (again and again) the role I want writing to play in my life. I do not have an answer, but I do know that I want to be more deliberate about including writing in my life–giving it value, giving it time. If my life were a pie chart, the nifty little wedge for “writing” would be just a bit bigger than microscopic…at least lately. It would be bigger than, say, computing statistical proofs, but it would not be as big as doing laundry or picking up socks or changing diapers. Laundry must continue to be done. Diapers certainly need to be changed, but I want writing to show up on the chart.
I want to do more than just-about-weekly blogging and more than e-mailing. What role will writing play in my life? If the writing wedge in my hypothetical pie chart grows, which portion will necessarily shrink? Not laundry. I need to think about this, and then I need to do more than think. I need to do. I need to write.
We had company! This weekend, we had the joy of hosting my hubby’s parents in our home. We had a great visit. We had some nice meals out, a few meals in. We enjoyed the beach, drove around our new town, attended church, watched a little football, went out for ice cream, and took lots of photographs. We shared hugs and laughs and pleasant walks. Charlotte showed off her gummy grins. The boys had so much fun with Grandma and Papa, playing and telling stories and pointing out their schools. I felt good while planning meals and washing up the sheets.
The house is quiet now. Our company has just left for the airport. We parted with many hugs and then just one more, speaking of the next trip, the next reunion.
Here are a few glimpses into our weekend.
Have a beautiful Sunday!
“Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.” Exodus 34:21
Have a great Labor Day!
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” ~John Lubbock
Note: The new edition of The Rhythm of the Home is now up and running!
One month ago yesterday, I landed in this state, and I’ve been looking for “normal” ever since. “Normal” has been pretty scarce this summer. First, I was not feeling normal because I was growing a baby inside. I had a healthy, easy pregnancy, but nonetheless, I felt slow and awkward and not like myself. Then in late May, we got the news that my husband had been hired as a professor in a distant place. From that moment on, the rest of the summer was colored with the hue of nostalgia. During each activity and at each get-together, I was thinking that it could be the last time. The last trip to the museum. The last time at our library. The last visit to the park with special friends. And when I wasn’t practically dripping with the sentimentality of such a big move, I was checking off my to-do lists and mentally packing.
Next, Charlotte came to be with us. Anyone who has welcomed a new baby knows that normal goes straight down the drain. Everything from going to bed to preparing a peanut butter sandwich becomes just a bit (or a whole lot) more complicated.
Well, the move has happened. Yesterday marked one month since we arrived in our new state, our new town. That’s one month of shopping in a new grocery store, listening to unfamiliar voices on the radio, and using a new Post Office. There is a sense of normal returning as we discover remnants of a familiar routine. We are returning to steady bedtimes and early mornings. There are meals to prepare, dishes to clean, and laundry to wash, dry, & put away. But everything feels different as if the pieces of our days have been twisted and tossed about like kids on a carnival ride.
New things are finding their way into our family’s routine. We now have homework to do and a lunch to pack for a first grader who goes to school all day. Preschool has begun, leaving Mama home some mornings with only a tiny baby. The little ones and I have a music class to attend each week. How fun! We are visiting a church that might become ours eventually. Could normal actually be on its way? For now, I’m hanging on tight to the things that are certain:
:: God has a plan for our family. We can trust Him to guide us.
:: He loves us as much as ever.
:: The sun will rise each morning.
:: Children still need love, discipline, and fun!
:: Nursing a baby is warm, restful, and wholesome.
:: Libraries bring me joy (so I went there yesterday).
:: I can still talk to my mom every day, and I usually do (sometimes twice).
:: The love of a husband makes the world feel safe and steady.
:: The future is just as big and open as ever–full of hope and promise, making today prime for daydreams.
I’m grateful for the things I can count on.
(This morning’s sunrise. Stunning.)